In business development, there’s more than one way to win

Everyone in our business knows bringing in new clients can mean months of work without always getting the result you deserve. I wanted to share this recent case study because it shows, even if you don’t win the big prize, your business can still take real value out of the process.

What was the issue?
Masters is an award winning distribution and warehousing business with 120 clients across the UK. Masters’ Business & Commercial Development Manager is Mervyn Jeffery who had approached a giftware business who were considering moving their warehousing arrangements. However they needed a Government Bonded Warehouse (Bond), a customs controlled facility that allows a business to defer paying import tax.
But, at that time Masters did not have a Bond facility. As Mervyn says “Government Bond is a strange thing, you can’t offer it unless you have a client that uses it”. He continues “To potentially win the business, we needed help with this”.

What happened next?
An online search led Masters to ImportExportSupport and IES MD Tracey Renshaw. Mervyn Jeffery says Masters are choosy about who they work with: “We ask ourselves ‘Are they Masters people’”, he continues “Tracey came across straightaway as being incredibly knowledgeable, she understood the time scales – and she also understood the Masters’ values”.
Working to tight deadlines, Tracey produced a report which outlined the solutions for Masters. These included outsourcing the Bond to a bureau or setting up an internal system. Mervyn says “”Tracey gave us the options, helped us understand the costs and the exposure to the business”.
This thorough planning enabled Masters to make a compelling presentation to the giftware business who were left in no doubt that Masters could give them the high level of service they needed.

What was the positive take-out?
Despite a protracted period of negotiation, in the end contractural obstacles meant the client stuck with their existing warehouse supplier. However for Masters this doesn’t mean the process has been wasted.
Firstly, Masters now have a clear process to put a Bond in place. This means they can offer this service to existing and other potential clients.
Secondly, Masters and IES have formed a useful working relationship. As Mervyn Jeffery says “When you’re dealing with HMRC you can’t make mistakes. Tracey’s background and experience is very reassuring”.
And thirdly, Mervyn’s business experience tells him there is a long-term opportunity in Bonded Warehousing, a service which is likely to be increasingly important in the post-Brexit logistics industry.

Image: The Masters warehouse facility in Cambridgeshire.

A PDF of this story can be downloaded from our Case Studies page here.

Thanks to Mervyn Jeffery and the Masters team for their help in putting together this story. More on Masters here